As I came closer, I saw a huge boulder balancing on top of the car, apparently responsible for the damage. Had the car just been left there?
This piece of urban artwork is called Still Life with Stone and Car by sculptor Jimmie Durham. Born in Arkansas and now based in Berlin, he created this piece for the 2004 Sydney Biennale. The Biennale is an international festival of contemporary art.
Still Life with Stone and Car was created onsite in the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House. A two-ton stone, quarried from Australia’s Central Coast, was lowered by crane onto the red 1999 Ford Festiva hatchback, which had been specially purchased for this work. Before the stone was hammered into position, Durham painted a face on it. Why? Durham said, "To my way of thinking, if the stone is simply a stone without a face, it becomes a gesture, but with the face painted on it, the work develops a strange narrative."
Durham’s work was moved to its current location in 2006. It certainly blends into the environment. I should have realized sooner that it was street art but had ignored two signs that frame the work, no matter which way you approach it on Hickson Road. These signs are by artist Richard Tipping and they read: